International

About 80% of the global art market by value takes place outside the UK. The largest art market in the world is the US with China in third place (after the UK) followed by France, Germany and Switzerland.

Many more nations have a rich art and antiques heritage with active auction, dealer, fair, gallery and museum sectors even if their market size by value is smaller.

Read the top stories and latest art and antiques news from all these countries.

Sotheby’s sell New York HQ to help clear debt

06 January 2003

Deal clears way for leaseback of building: Sotheby's will be able to clear up to $100m of debt – including their recent $20m European Commission fine – by selling their York Avenue headquarters in New York.

Tajan top Paris sales totals for 2002

06 January 2003

Christie’s and Sotheby’s failed to establish saleroom predominance in Paris in 2002, the first full year in which, thanks to France’s recent auction reform, they have been allowed to stage auctions on French soil.

Sloan’s file for Chapter 11 status

06 January 2003

SLOAN’S auctioneers of Washington DC have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a bid to keep the company afloat. The move follows recent reports that the company had debts of up to $5m and a string of unpaid consignors.

Christie’s ex-NY boss joins Hamptons

06 January 2003

RICHARD Madley, former president of Christie’s East, New York, has returned to the UK and joined Hamptons with a view to increasing the firm’s presence in the auction market.

Coin trade baffled by sale conundrum

17 December 2002

HOW can coins being sold on the rostrum in New York be sitting safely locked up in London and elsewhere at the same time? That is the conundrum facing the coins and medals world following the publication of a catalogue and results from a sale organised in New York by Riccardo Paolucci, a Yorkshire-based Italian dealer.

New auction house to compete with Sloan’s

11 December 2002

AS Maryland auctioneers Sloan’s try to resolve their recently publicised problems, a new auction business plans to set up in nearby Washington. The firm of Smith & Kenyon Auctioneers and Appraisers plan to set up in a converted 117,000 sq ft roller skating rink in the city.

A Stack of coins…

11 December 2002

Attentive readers of the Antiques Trade Gazette will remember the sale of the Lawrence R. Stack collection of English medieval coins at Sotheby’s in April 1999. He also had a good collection of French coins from the time of Henri IV (1589-1610) to about Waterloo. These were dispersed by Hess-Divo (15% buyer’s premium) in Zurich on October 24 in 380 lots.

Rubens will go on public display

06 December 2002

Rubens’ Massacre of the Innocents is to go on public display at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Lord Thomson of Fleet, who set a record for an Old Master painting at auction when he paid £45m for the work at Sotheby’s in London in July, announced that the painting would join nearly 2000 other works in his collection at the gallery after it completes a $315m renovation and expansion.

Curiel picks up the gavel to record an auction first

06 December 2002

François Curiel, head of Christie’s France, has set a precedent by winning permission to direct sales in France. It is the first time that the Conseil des Ventes, France’s auction watchdog, has authorised anyone who has not passed the traditional commissaire-priseur’s exams to hold the gavel.

Cracked tiles, but no spillage

28 November 2002

This tiled panel advertising Champagne Mercier was one of a rare ensemble of six panels made in the early 1920s, each 5ft 9in x 2ft (174 x 62cm), on offer under the Prunier hammer in Louviers (14.95% buyer’s premium) on November 17. The other tiled panels, accompanied by two landscape friezes, also advertised drinks (Rhum Negrita, St Raphaël, Guillot Triple Sec, Quenot Dijon cassis, Fine Legrand cognac), and were marked G.F.C. France for Gilardoni Fils & Compagnie of Choisy-le-Roi, near Paris.

An unabashedly Copernican treatise

28 November 2002

A PRE-VESALIAN anatomy and a pioneering German surgical treatise are featured in the caption story below, while among the other scientific texts in an October 2 sale of early printed books held by Swanns were two important works by Kepler.

New French auction group

25 November 2002

A new French nationwide auction grouping, Ivoire, was officially launched in Paris on November 21. The group includes auctioneers from three major cities (Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse) and nine other provincial towns (Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Cannes, Chartres, Clermont-Ferrand, La Rochelle, Rheims, Saumur and Troyes).

Venus rises, Wailing Wall tumbles

21 November 2002

Sotheby’s and Christie’s October sales of 19th Century European Art in New York told, or at least seemed to tell, very different stories of the current state of the market for high value Orientalist and genre painting.

Long lost – and found

21 November 2002

The paintings of Edwin Long (1829-1891) are well known to London’s gallery visitors, since there are works by him in both the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Academy, but many of his works have long been lost or forgotten.

Hope springs eternal in Chinese ceramics

21 November 2002

The results of Hong Kong’s October Asian series underscored the increasing polarity in this market in which there seems no limit to collectors’ and dealers’ insatiable desire for the best Qing dynasty mark and period porcelain or quality Chinese works with good provenance, but little interest in more standard Oriental fare.

Plate amour...

15 November 2002

In Cologne on October 26 W.G. Herr (18% buyer’s premium) staged a Jubilee sale to mark their 50th auction in the cosy Friesenwall gallery where, as he puts it, Werner Herr has been “swinging the hammer” for 20 years.

Irish court ruling underlines importance of due diligence

12 November 2002

The importance of clear due diligence in dealings has been highlighted by an Irish court overruling the country’s statute of limitations on stolen goods in a civil case.

La Grande Loge sells for $600,000

12 November 2002

The Impressionist and Modern sales were not the only New York sales last week to smash auction records. Christie’s November 5-6 sale of 19th and 20th century prints brought an extraordinary record price for a single print by Henri de Toulouse Lautrec. La Grande Loge, an 1897 lithograph in colours on wove paper, was an extremely rare and previously unrecorded colour trial proof produced before an edition of 12.

eBay patents wrangle looks set for court fight

12 November 2002

The patent dispute pitching a Virginia inventor against eBay appears to be heading to trial. US District Court Judge Jerome Friedman issued a series of rulings in late October that, while firming up aspects of eBay’s defence, rejected the company’s attempts to have the claims – made by MercExchange, a Virginia technology company – thrown out.

New York art sales beef up the market

11 November 2002

OF the three new world auction records taken at Christie’s Rockefeller Center saleroom on the evening of November 6, two of them were for pieces of sculpture. This follows on from Christie’s success in the May Impressionist and Modern sales, their best – as Sotheby’s were for them – for some time, when Constantin Brancusi’s 1913 bronze Danaïde took $16.5m (£11.6m), the highest price for any piece of sculpture sold at auction.

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